English Journal is NCTE's award-winning journal of ideas for English language arts teachers in junior and senior high schools and middle schools.
Call for Manuscripts
All manuscripts should be submitted via the Editorial Manager system.
General Interest Submissions
We publish articles of general interest as space is available. You may submit manuscripts on any topic that will appeal to EJ readers. Remember that EJ articles foreground classroom practice and contextualize it in sound research and theory. As you know, EJ readers appreciate articles that show real students and teachers in real classrooms engaged in authentic teaching and learning. Regular manuscript guidelines regarding length and style apply.
Equity and English: Constructing a Just Future
Submission Deadline: November 15, 2017
Publication Date: July 2018
We live and work in an unjust world, in a world where wealth distribution is inequitable, where power is often corrupt, and where discrimination and oppression are widespread. As English teachers labor to help students apply the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and instill in their students a love for literature, they also use these platforms to help students construct a more just world.
We do this work alongside learners in rural, suburban, and urban communities that represent a vast range of resources and privilege. Educational institutions, where our classrooms live, reflect society’s ills. Schools are meant to be spaces for opportunity; too often, they are places where inequities are reproduced and sustained.
We are teachers because we believe that these conditions can be changed. We believe that the power inherent in dominant discourse can be questioned and interrupted, and that language can be a force for equity and justice. In this issue, we seek your stories of how English classrooms can offer opportunities for students to expose and resist injustice, and ultimately to experience justice. What texts bring justice to life for your students? What kinds of reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities generate possibilities for equity? How do digital literacies influence student and teacher participation in justice-oriented endeavors? In what ways do cultural forces and politics intersect with the the aims of a democratic classroom? That is, (how) can teachers and students construct just classrooms in an unjust society?
To meet EJ readers’ expectations regarding research-based scholarship and practice, please ensure that the experiences you share are grounded in relevant educational literature.
Submission Deadline: January 15, 2018
Publication Date: September 2018
“And it can be said that the monumental struggles being waged in our time . . . resemble, in awesome ways, the ancient struggle between those who insisted that the world was flat and those who apprehended that it was round.” —James Baldwin, “Here Be Dragons,” 1985
Uncertainties mark the cultural map of our contemporary world, interfering with our sense of security and, at times, rendering the landscape unfamiliar and tricky. Schools can reflect these uncertainties. Domestic sociopolitical upheaval, shifting demographics, global humanitarian catastrophes, and the media’s broadcast of unfiltered, and often uncritical, perspectives affect our students and our classrooms.
Medieval cartographers used the warning “Here be dragons” to designate the edges of the known world. The phrase, sometimes accompanied by dragon symbols, served as both a caution and an invitation. It beckoned the most courageous to trespass familiar boundaries, to venture into unmapped territory. The English classroom has always applauded the spirit of exploration, and English teachers are renowned for their bravery, openness, and willingness to learn and adapt.
The changes in our world demand a courageous pedagogical response, especially as we assist students to cultivate literacies that promote justice, global awareness, and introspection. These changes bid us to renew our commitment to an artful, evolving practice. For this issue of the journal, the editors invite stories of radical courage. In the face of the “monumental struggles being waged in our time,” as Baldwin puts it, how are English classrooms responding with lessons that explore new territory, teach social responsibility, and inspire hope? How are courageous instructional choices supporting families and communities? As a literacy teacher, when have you stepped into unmapped terrain and what happened? How are we, as a profession, highlighting the need for empathy and engaged listening? Why must we believe in radical courage as we learn about ourselves and our struggling world? What dragons have you encountered and how have you and your students summoned the courage to face them?
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2018
Publication Date: November 2018
“Artifacts, or objects, are present in everyone’s life. Memories of objects are powerful pulls on identity. Objects are handed down, over generations, some brought from foreign trips as mementos. These objects are special, and they tell stories. Artifacts bring in everyday life. They are material, and they represent culture.” —Kate Pahl and Jennifer Rowsell, Artifactual Literacies: Every Object Tells a Story (2010)
The artifacts of our lives are evocative. They invite us to reminisce and share stories, and they remind us of who we are and who we have been. Sometimes an artifact—a photograph, a book, a playlist, a poem, a letter, a cartoon—conjures a connection to the past and causes us to remember and reflect. The questions that surface in those moments can lead us to consider the object’s materiality and its power to define our thinking about ourselves and the world. These questions are the foundation for inquiry—an exploration of our culture, our learning, our relationships, and our experience, as represented by mementos from our lives.
This issue of English Journal explores teaching and learning artifacts and the memories they arouse that are “powerful pulls on identity,” as Pahl and Rowsell describe them. Which artifacts of your journey as an English teacher are most significant? How are your ELA students defining themselves as learners via artifacts and mementos? What do artifacts say about our identity as a culture, and how can the English classroom be a site for cultural critique? How have you encouraged students to examine personal objects that stir their memories and speak to their experiences? How does artifactual inquiry help us learn, understand, and teach?
Speaking My Mind: We invite you to speak out on an issue that concerns you about English language arts teaching and learning. If your essay is published, it will appear with your photo in a future issue of EJ. We welcome essays of 1,000 to 1,500 words, as well as inquiries regarding possible subjects.
Teacher photographs of classroom scenes and individual students are welcome. Photographs may be uploaded to Editorial Manager at the address above in any standard image format at 300 dpi. Photos should be accompanied by complete identification: teacher/photographer’s name, location of scene, and date photograph was taken. If faces are clearly visible, names of those photographed should be included, along with their statement of permission for the photograph to be reproduced in EJ.
Cartoons should depict scenes or ideas potentially amusing to English language arts teachers. They can be submitted to Editorial Manager at the address above; we can accept any standard graphics format at 300 dpi.
For information on writing for the EJ columns, see the Columns and Column Editors info below.
For EJ Submission Guidelines, see below.
For more information, contact Englishjournal@ncte.org.